The Importance of Dinner Tables & Bedtimes

As all of us old, married folk know, marriage is hard work. It's quite possibly even the hardest work - with parenting being a close second.

It's hard enough finding a decent man these days, but then, when you snag him you have to keep that relationship afloat for the next 60+ years without killing each other. And on top of all this there are jobs that need attending, kids that need care, dinner that needs to be made, laundry that needs to be washed, a house that needs to be cleaned, and bills that need to be payed. Oh...and we can't forget sleep. Where does your marriage (that made all of this possible) fit in? You know what I'm talking about. If you nodded your head to any of the above, please keep reading. This is for you.

I feel as if my husband and I have done it all (minus buying a house and pushing out babies). And sometimes, doing it all can get extremely stressful and you forget to relax and just be with your spouse. I'll be the first to raise my hand. I know my Type-A, go-go-go self would rather get the dishes done than sit back and chill with my man. But too much of that attitude got us in trouble. Big trouble.

The constant effort to get things done and time spent away from each other for work and school eventually added up and turned our precious, newborn marriage into a pile of crap. I'd care more about disinfecting the bathroom than I would about sitting down to eat dinner at the same time Josh did. And he was just as guilty - when I did sit down with him, his eyes (and brain) were glued to the TV. We were passively neglecting each other.

Neither of us really addressed it until I was home alone one night while Josh was away for work (for 11 days!) and I hardly even noticed because I was so busy doing, rather than being. As I got into bed that night and felt the empty side of the bed where my husband's warm body would usually be, I felt it. Loneliness. But how could I feel lonely? I was happily married! As I played through all of the reasons I could feel this way, I put two and two together and realized we'd been doing marriage all wrong.

I called Josh the next day and explained my heartache to him and he said he had also been feeling that way. I couldn't believe we'd been so negligent of something we once desperately longed for.

Since that day, we've made it a point to sit down together when we eat dinner and to go to bed together each night. Even when we haven't seen each other and have been go-go-going all day, those few minutes of peace together are refreshing. It has made all the difference in our relationship. We're less snappy, more playful, and just all around happier spending time together. Isn't that what marriage is all about?

Do you have a daily ritual with your significant other to enhance your relationship? What is a tip or advice that has refreshed your marriage? 


Overwhelmed & Computer-less

Hello, loves! 

As you can tell, I've been pretty non-existent on the blog lately. A lot has been happening on my end and every time I had the opportunity to sit down and blog, I just couldn't find my mojo. That and anytime I did have mojo, Josh was using the computer for school - which, unfortunately, trumps blogging.

Too much stuff has been clogging up my brain and my heart. The inspiration wasn't there and I refuse to bang out a half-hearted post just because. Amazingly, I haven't lost any readers during my hiatus (you guys are so good to me) and, not that numbers matter, but it was reassuring to know that you'd be here whenever I decided to return. So thank you for sticking around. 

That being said, I thought I'd give you a snippet of an update on the happenings in the Nixdorf household these past few months. 

- I hosted a Christmas music swap with Meghan and Sara. I can't wait to get my CD and get in the Christmas spirit! 
- I also hosted a coffee and tea lover's swap. There were a few bumps in the road, but everyone's packages turned out wonderfully! 
- I started seeing a psychiatrist and have begun a steady regimen of medication for mild bipolar depression (more on this later). I've been keeping a 'journal' of sorts on my Instagram about how I'm adjusting to the medication. You can see that here
- A week after I started my new medication I found out that I was losing my job for financial reasons on my employer's part. I was devastated, but I'm using this as an opportunity to start a 'Big Girl' job.
- Because of this I've been applying and interviewing all over Chambana, which has been exhausting, to say the least.
- We've gotten a lot of decorating/organizing done around the apartment and even bought new furniture off of Craigslist. 
- We spent Thanksgiving up north with both of our families together! I am so blessed that our families get along and enjoy each other's company. 
- We celebrated Josh's birthday at Firehaus (they've got some awesome fries) and he got a TON of great gifts. 
- Josh has taken a permanent leave of absence from the Reserves. When his paperwork is cleared in January, he will no longer be in the Reserves. It was costing us more money than he was making to attend drill weekends and the time away was affecting his school work and our marriage. So the ultimate decision was to let it go and we are SO glad we did. 
- We started We Are The Losers: a weight-loss wager. There are 13 people in the group and whoever loses the most weight at the end of 12 weeks wins the pot! So far, it has been so encouraging. I've re-started tracking my food and water, but I need to get better at the exercising...that's always my downfall. 

So that's what we've been up to lately. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or are friends with me on Facebook you've already seen all of this, so I apologize. But for those of you still reading, all I can say is thank you for sticking around my humble corner of the web. You are awesome.

*P.S. When I hit 100 followers I'll be having a big ol' giveaway!*


Jingle Bell Rock: A Holiday Mixed 'Tape' Swap

Good morning, lovelies!

I have yet another exciting swap for you today!

I'm partnering with Meghan from Shine On and Sara from You & Me Are We to bring you.....

What are the details of this swap?

November 5 - November 11: Sign-ups will take place! Use the form below to sign up.
Monday, November 12: Sara, Meagan and Meghan will send you your swap partner.
Monday, November 19: Packages have been sent!
Monday, December 3: Link-up with Sara, Meagan and Meghan to share your track lists!

Cheap! The costs of a disc/case + shipping. It should cost no more than $5-7 total.

Help us spread the word!
We'd love to have as many people sign up as possible. If able & willing, we'd love for you to help us by adding our button to your blog, in addition to pinning, sharing, and/or tweeting about the swap! 

It's time to spread holiday cheer! Join @MeghanGranito, @Local_at_Last & @YouAndMeAreWe for a Holiday Mixed CD Swap! http://bit.ly/KtEsBY

Additional Information:
Friendly Introductions: Please head over to your partner's blog so that you can get to know them. We recommend shooting your partner an e-mail to see if there are any artists/CDs he/she already have - that way we aren't sending duplicate jams. Also, make sure to grab their mailing address!
Package Nicely: Make sure the CD is in a case and/or packaged properly. We do not want any broken CDs.
Delivery is Important: We suggest adding some sort of tracking to your package so that you and your partner confirm they were sent and delivered. This is completely optional and at the discretion of you & your partner.

Because of the assigned schedule, please adhere to these guidelines to ensure that you meet the deadline. Swaps are only fun when both parties participate, so please be sure not to leave your partner hanging!

If you do sign up and are unable to complete this swap, please let one of the hosts know ASAP, so that we can reassign partners.

Join In!


Get Your Java On Swap Link-Up

Hello loves. 

I'm back shortly today to show off my awesome treats I received from Meghan over at Shine On. Meghan is such a sweetheart. She's a social media junkie and recently moved from Tennessee to Seattle to be closer to home. Jump over to her adorable blog and say 'hello!'

Here's what Meghan got me (and you'll have to see her post today to see how alike we are)! :)

Isn't this packaging just adorable?!?
Meghan got me a polka dot mug, Essie {Recessionista}, Mambas, caramel apple coffee, Tazo tea,  Ice Breakers for my coffee breath, and a cinnamon cider candle. 
I loved everything she got me (and Josh has been stealing my Mambas ;) ). Thanks so much, Meghan!!! 

Don't forget to link up your swap reveal posts below. Can't wait to see what everyone got from their partners. :)


Jodi from Sweets and Shutterclicks was without a partner at the last minute, so Josh stepped in and offered to put together a package for her. Jodi was sweet enough to swap with him. Here's what he got!

Chai tea, a travel mug, 2 packets of flavored coffee, an adorable pumpkin, Halloween cupcake liners, and a sweet glow in the dark cup. He loves his first swap package! :)
Thanks, Jodi!